The Dh210,000 Al Burda Award has opened registrations for its 17th iteration.
The prize aims to celebrate accomplishments in traditional Islamic art forms while highlighting the importance and elegance of the Arabic language. It is open to poets, calligraphers and artists whose works are inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, the Holy Quran and Hadiths.
This year, the award is being held under the theme Al Mizan, or the Balance, marking the Year of Sustainability in the UAE. It features three categories – poetry, accepting both classical and Nabati forms; calligraphy, which is open to classical and modern approaches; as well as ornamentation.
Each category has a prize of Dh210,000.
Those wanting to participate in the competition have to submit a draft of their work on Al Burda's website before September 1. Participants will have until September 30 to upload their final submissions on the site. Those competing in the calligraphy and ornamentation categories can ship their artworks between September 30 and October 15.
Al Burda Award was established in 2004 by the Ministry of Culture and Youth to celebrate the birth date of Prophet Mohammed. It is named after an epic poem, Qasidat Al Burda, or Ode to the Mantle, which was written by 12th century Sufi mystic Imam Al Busiri and dedicated to the prophet.
More than 330 winners have received Al Burda Awards since its inception. The award comes as part of an initiative by the ministry that includes the biennial Al Burda Festival.
The festival was conceived in 2018 as a celebration of Islamic arts and culture. In 2021, the festival and award ceremony took place at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“The festival aspires to promote tolerance and human and cultural interaction through Islamic art, which epitomises the rich heritage and values of the great Islamic civilisation,” Minister of State Noura Al Kaabi, then-Minister of Culture and Youth, said in 2021.